This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Ousting homeless without a plan is unacceptable.

There were no winners in last week’s duel, and as I suspected, Syria has already faded from discussion for many people in favour of whatever outrage has their attention this week. For the people of Syria, there is no win.

This week, Brent and I take a look at the how the city of Abbotsford is dealing with their homeless population. Quite frankly, they aren’t.

Is the City of Abbotsford right to evict residents of a homeless camp?

Last week, Stats Canada and the Broadbent Institute both released surveys that indicated British Columbia leads the country in social well-being.

Not surprising when you think about it. After all, this is beautiful B.C. It’s the land of plenty, where the ocean meets mountains and opportunity can be found around every corner.

But in a province that leads the country in social well-being, why is homelessness still such a big issue for so many communities? Case in point is the City of Abbotsford. This Fraser Valley community found itself the target of several media reports earlier this summer for dumping chicken manure on a site where homeless people were camping.

Read Brent Stafford’s column

While the city manager took responsibility for the issue, several media reports have since revealed that many city departments were involved in one of the most disgusting methods of dealing with homelessness I’ve ever encountered.

Last week, city staff “evicted” homeless squatters off another site in Abbotsford. So where did these people who have no homes go? Much to the chagrin of city officials, they went back to the location where the city had dumped chicken manure earlier this summer…

READ the rest of my column, along with Brents and  then vote for who you think should win this week’s debate under his column. http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/09/15/ousting-the-homeless-without-a-plan-is-unacceptable

24homeless

6 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Ousting homeless without a plan is unacceptable.

  1. e.a.foster

    they simply don’t want homeless or economically deprived people in their community. Doesn’t fit with their goals for the community. It would be easy to provide housing for those with minimal or no income. Simply ask the community for used but in decent condition vacation trailers and put them in a vacation trailer park.

    This came about in Courtenay, on Vancouver Island. The homeless, male only, had only the emergency shelter at the Salvation army. The politicians weren’t doing anything useful. Eventually some found their way to Maple Pool vacation trailer park, with old trailers. The City of Courtenay then took the owners of Maple Pool to court because they weren’t in compliance with the by-laws, which did not provide for permant housing there. Given there were any number of men and women living in tents around the valley, the Courtenay Rotary put out a call for older trailers. The trailers came, the Rotary brought them up to code/standard, put them at Maple Pool, where they are rented out for $350 per month. (this is what welfare pays for shelter allowances for single persons.) Maple Pool now houses 50 people in this manner. There is a soccer team, which competes in the world cup for homeless people and a community worker. No drug dealing is permitted. everybody seems happy except the Courtenay council which is still dragging the owners of Maple pool through the courts.

    Any community could simply find some land, bring in gently used self contained vacation trailers, containers, build tiny homes, etc. Each person would have their own home with kitchen, sleeping area, bathroom, etc. They could lock their own doors at night and be able to step outside without having to go through corridors and such if they didn’t wish to.

    Homelessness is not a problem which can’t be solved. There just isn’t any political will or for that matter, not much social will either. The solutions are inexpensive and cost effective. If they have the money for a new roof on B.C. Place there ought to be money for people to live with some dignity.

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    1. Laila

      Well said.

      Maple Pool is a wonderful example -I know the case very very well and have had the wonderful pleasure to not only meet Jin and Dali Lin, but to join the lovely people who call Maple Pool home for their weekly soccer game and meal earlier this year!

      Maple Pool works and it is my belief the court case is all about money and the intent to get someones hands on that land which if developed,would be very very lucrative.

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    1. Laila

      Yes, I saw this earlier this year and smiled. This happened within weeks of my time over there earlier this year. What is phenomenal in this case is that several community members have stepped up from various political leanings to do what needs to be done to bring the site into compliance and the city still didn’t back off, nor did their people cooperate. Absolutely stunning.

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  2. steve

    I have an area north end Vancouver island that I want to get a grant for and make a low income trailer park the property already has a business on it that would also employ lots of people and part of the property would be a homeless shelter for youth its all set up and ready to move in its a win win project the only problem is it would be a 1 million dollar project to purchase property and build trailer park any comments on this would be great

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